PSP Cpl Kelly and Trp Seiple | Officer Involved Shooting

Pennsylvania State Police Gunfight With Suspect Daniel Clary
| August 14, 2018
Categories: Learnin'

Prosecutors in Northampton, PA have released video of an OIS (Officer Involved Shooting) that occurred last year on PA Route 33 in Lehigh Valley. In that exchange of gunfire one trooper was critically injured and the suspect shot after a lengthy fight on the side of the road. This is a collection of some of the information available.

This OIS occurred November 7, 2017, but the video was not released until June 2018 after the Northampton County DA used it in a criminal prosecution of Daniel Clary (and subsequent to a lawsuit). Clary was initially charged with 2 counts of criminal homicide, assault on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault, and other offenses. Clary was ultimately convicted of two counts of attempted murder.

Below you will find the following:

• video from the November 2017 OIS in Lehigh Valley, PA

• audio from local responder radio traffic

• video of Cpl. Seth Kelly, et al, after being awarded Trooper of the Year by IACP

• video of the press conference conducted immediately after the shooting occurred

Video and discussion of this incident are widespread. The intention of this article is to provide additional information for those hoping for greater clarity, lessons learned, or both. It may be updated as better, more complete, or corrected information is obtained.

During this Event, Pennsylvania State Troopers Ryan Seiple and Cpl. Seth Kelly conducted field sobriety tests on a suspect who was stopped on Pennsylvania Route 33 in the Lehigh Valley*. The initial traffic stop was effected by Trp. Seiple at 10:15 a.m. local on a vehicle driven by Daniel Clary (22 yoa), initially for speeding.

[*Different news sources report the Event to have occurred variously in Nazareth, Plainfield Township, but the dispatch recording indicates an Air Evac LZ was set up in the latter.]

Seiple, who initiated the stop,* suspected the driver of driving under the influence and called for a backer. FSTs are conducted, Seiple starts to put the bracelets on, Clary goes for Seiple’s gun, and a fight ensues. Clary was Tased and hit multiple times but was able to break free, get to the driver’s side window, and retrieve a semi-automatic pistol. He opened fire on the troopers, hitting Kelly four times. Kelly was hit once in the femoral artery, twice in the shoulder, and once in the neck.

Pennsylvania State Police Gunfight With Suspect Daniel Clary

Pennsylvania State Police Gunfight With Suspect Daniel Clary

[*If this report is correct, Seiple issued a citation to Clary, who then flagged him back down after that contact was completed, whereupon Seiple called for a backer.]

Cpl Kelly, who carried and a tourniquet on duty and used it on his leg, nearly died. Reports indicate a second tourniquet was used, but I haven’t been able to determine if this was Kelly’s, Seiple’s, or a responding medic. He was subsequently transported to the hospital and at least once his heart stopped en route. He spent 12 days in a medically induced coma before waking and being told he was in a shooting.

He has no recollection of the incident.

Pennsylvania State Police Gunfight With Suspect Daniel Clary

Reports say Clary was shot in the neck, side, and head. He got back in his vehicle as one or both troopers returned fire and drove himself to a local hospital. He was later arraigned while in a hospital bed.

During a June 15 hearing, Clary’s attorney claimed he believed he was “…at risk or his life was being challenged and that’s why he ran to the car and got the gun.”

The video below is from Trooper Seiple’s vehicle and was released to the public after subsequent to the trial thanks to a lawsuit filed by the Daily Call. PA’s 2017 Act 22 (18 PA. C.S. and 42 PA. C.S.) changes the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know law sets police audio and video apart from public records, providing additional requirements and protections, particularly if recordings are part of an ongoing investigation. You can see footage from earlier in the encounter here.

Let’s take a look.

ALCON: as always, we welcome cogent discussion to help craft lessons learned. However, unless you have something constructive to add to the discussion, don’t bother weighing in. Constructive criticism civilly delivered is fine — desultory, scroll-by commenting is not. Thank you. 

The Gunfight.

Both troopers were out of the PSP Belfast Barracks, Troop M. Cpl. Kelly was later honored as an IACP Trooper of the year (see below).

The PSP’s PIO can be contacted via their Communications Office. The agency’s Facebook page is /PAStatePolice/. (@PAStatePolice).

The Radio Traffic.

Timeline (in this video, not local time as it occurred)

2:31 Channel is cleared and non-incident traffic switched to a secondary frequency
3:14 Airevac recommended due to traffic conditions
4:01 PSP request for airevac broadcast to responding units
5:20 Airevac LZ requested
9:15 All 3 trucks on scene, LZ location advised
12:56 Precise marking of LZ advised, airevac to arrive momentarily
14:10 Unit(s) advise they have eyes on airevac
20:58 Units advised by HQ of a possible gunshot victim walk-in at local hospital (Clary?)
23:23 Suspect vehicle identified at hospital, LEOs on scene
25:18 Airevac bird in the air
26:08 Clary confirmed at hospital and in custody

The Discussion.

The Original News Conference.

Most of us watching that first video do so for two reasons. First, for professional reasons. Second, because it’s dramatic and provides ample fodder for clickbait headlines.

If you are here reading this for the first reason, I hoped it helped. If you’re here for the second, I hope you take time to read and consider at least some of what the article contains.

That’s all for now, go forth and conquer.

⚠️ Some hyperlinks in this article may contain affiliate links. If you use them to make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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